In vivo inhibition of etoposide-mediated apoptosis, toxicity, and antitumor effect by the topoisomerase II-uncoupling anthracycline aclarubicin.

A number of clinically important drugs such as the epipodophyllotoxins etoposide (VP-16) and teniposide (VM-26), the anthracycline daunorubicin and doxorubicin (Adriamycin), and the aminoacridine amsacrine exert their cytotoxic action by stabilizing the cleavable complex formed between DNA and the nuclear enzyme topoisomerase II. We have previously demonstrated in several in vitro assays that the anthracycline aclarubicin (aclacinomycin A) inhibits cleavable-complex formation and thus antagonizes the action of drugs such as VP-16 and daunorubicin. The present study was performed to validate these in vitro data in an in vivo model. At nontoxic doses of 6 and 9 mg/kg, aclarubicin yielded a marked increase in the survival of non-tumor-bearing mice given high doses of VP-16 (80-90 mg/kg) in six separate experiments. In therapy experiments on mice inoculated with Ehrlich ascites tumor cells, aclarubicin given at 6 mg/kg roughly halved the increase in median life span induced by VP-16 at doses ranging from 22 to 33 mg/kg. An attempt to determine a more favorable combination of VP-16 and aclarubicin by increasing VP-16 doses failed, as the two drugs were always less effective than VP-16 alone. The way in which VP-16-induced DNA strand breaks lead to cell death remains unknown. However, VP-16 has been reported to cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in several cell lines. To ascertain whether the protection given by aclarubicin could have a disruptive effect on the apoptotic process, we used the small intestine as an in vivo model. Whereas VP-16-induced apoptosis in crypt stem cells was detectable at a dose as low as 1.25 mg/kg, aclarubicin given at up to 20 mg/kg did not cause apoptosis. Indeed, aclarubicin caused a statistically significant reduction in the number of cells rendered apoptotic by VP-16. The present study thus confirms the previous in vitro experiments and indicates the value of including an in vivo model in a preclinical evaluation of drug combinations.
AuthorsB Holm, P B Jensen, M Sehested, H H Hansen
JournalCancer chemotherapy and pharmacology (Cancer Chemother Pharmacol) Vol. 34 Issue 6 Pg. 503-8 ( 1994) ISSN: 0344-5704 [Print] GERMANY
PMID7923561 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Etoposide
  • Aclarubicin
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II
  • Aclarubicin (pharmacology, therapeutic use)
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols (therapeutic use)
  • Apoptosis (drug effects)
  • Carcinoma, Ehrlich Tumor (drug therapy, mortality)
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II (drug effects)
  • Etoposide (antagonists & inhibitors, therapeutic use)
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Tumor Stem Cell Assay

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